[NO. 18] “Tabula Asiae X” (Tenth Map of Asia). From Claudius Ptolemy’s Geographia. Venice: Girolamo Ruscelli (1561) Wood block engraving. Paper size is approx. 11 x 9 inches. Matted and framed with frame size of 17 x 15 inches. $375.00
Ptolemy (90-168 AD) is believed to have worked in Alexandria, Egypt and to have compiled the works of Marinus of Tyre and other Roman and ancient Persian geographers into a single volume with 27 maps of the known world. Manuscript copies are believed to have passed into Europe around 1400 and to have been first printed in Bologne in 1477. Ptolemy is credited with pioneering such cartographic standards as placing north at the top of his maps, using a labeled grid of latitude and longitude, using mathematical projections, and even the use of sea and land monsters strategically placed to draw the viewers attention (though not incorporated into the Ruscelli edition).